The crime situation in rural Mexico these days is sort of fucked up. Sure, this may be something of an overly-harsh characterization of what's actually going on out there, but with all the killing, maiming and general anarchy being perpetuated by a seemingly-endless horde of frothing-at-the-mouth, completely non-scrupulous drug cartels, assassins, and other Walker, Texas Ranger-grade villainy, I really don't think it would be out of line to characterize the conditions south of the border as being "problematic" or perhaps even "whack" – much in the same way a person might define the warlord-infested mountains of southeast Afghanistan as "marginally unruly" or "slightly dangerous". It seems like every day there are new reports of bandits and drug cartels massacring innocent people, and fear and bullying have become a way of life for some particularly-oppressed regions, and the police and military are having a tough time containing these modern-day warlords simply because they're completely outnumbered, outmatched, and outgunned, and have a nasty habit of murdering any government officials they can't buy off with dirty drug money. I don't have a criminal justice degree or anything, but it's a pretty bad sign for your country's stability when the fucking cops are outmatched by the superior firepower of a bunch of guys who are basically a cross between fedora-deficient 1920s Chicago bootleggers with face-tattoos and the bad guys in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
The worst tragedy of this gigantic shit-vortex of a situation is that there's not a whole hell of a lot the average Mexican citizen can do to improve their situation in life. Any non-corrupt police or politicians they elect to office immediately become either corrupted or dead, and it's usually not a great idea for your every-day average Joe (average Jose?) to go out there and start fucking with an irritable roided-up horde of conscience-less gangsters who have access to high-powered assault weapons and who have no compunction about beheading nuns using shanks they fashioned from the bones of murdered orphan kittens. Of course, if everyone in the world backed down and suck on oppression every time they faced off against overwhelming odds and ultimate evil, there wouldn't be a whole lot of content for me to post on this website – mostly because there wouldn't be guys like Don Alejo Garza Tamez. Guys who looked the arch-enemies of humanity in the face and instinctively ripped off a no-look rabbit punch uppercut to the sack.
Captured Mexican cartel soldiers standing in front of a
cache of weaponry the police recovered from a cartel safehouse.
It's fitting that the only real picture of Don Alejo Garza Tamez is a grainy sepia-toned photo that may as well have been an FBI pic of Carlos the Jackal, because this guy is mysterious, deadly with a rifle, and incredibly hardcore. A man who had worked his entire life, starting with a manual labor job in his father's sawmill as a child, to become the owner of a successful farm and ranch in Victoria, Mexico, the 77 year-old Don Alejo was an old-school badass from back in the days where any time anybody wanted to go somewhere they had to walk uphill both ways in the snow while Cyclopes lobbed boulders at them.
Don Alejo had owned his quiet ranch for a few decades (give or take), having bought it with money he earned himself through hard work, dedication, ambition, and a strict policy not killing every single person who disagreed with him and building it into a viable business, so you can probably imagine what was going through this dude's head on the morning of Friday, November 12th, when a truckload of cartel gangsters rolled up to his front door and told him he had twenty-four hours to get the fuck out of town and hand his property over to them. I'll spell it out for you – he wasn't happy. When he expressed his unwillingness to fork over his life's work just because some ese was waving a Beretta in his face in a semi-threatening manner, the gangsters told him they were coming back that night, and that if he was still hanging around, he was a dead man.
He told them he'd be waiting for them.
These are sort of guys who managed to fail epically in their efforts
to intimidate a 77 year-old man with balls of granite.
No sooner had the unmarked pick-up trucks sped out of sight down the dusty road when Don Alejo went into action. He quietly called over his employees (there were several laborers who worked on his ranch during the days) and told them to leave early and take the weekend off. Then, without saying a word, he opened his cellar door and went down to his secret what-the-fuck Terminator 2 subterranean weapons bunker loaded with enough weaponry and ammo to make Vault system from Fallout look like the frozen food isle at the grocery store, grabbed as many weapons and bullets as he could carry, and started turning his home into an impenetrable fortress of destruction. Every window and door in the hacienda was stocked with a hunting rifle and a stack of ammunition. So when the trucks and cars of the cartel showed up at his ranch at 4am the next morning, Don Alejo was there waiting for them.
Unfortunately for the douchebag thugs of this particular jerkburger cartel, Don Alejo was big into MMA – which, according to Fake Danny Trejo's Twitter feed, stands for "Massive Mexican Asskicking" – and he wasn't shy about dishing out a little vigilante justice to these fucks who were trying to confiscate his hard-earned property. When the guys in the trucks started honking their horns, flashing their bright headlights on the house, shouting profanity into their megaphones, and shooting their guns wildly in the air, Don Alejo simply started shooting his guns directly at them, and in a manner significantly more controlled, busting caps in their punk asses and reminding these tough-guy cartel thugs that they really aren't as invincible as they think they are.
It didn't take long for the cartel to return fire on the ranch, but Don Alejo had taken great pains in the hours before to make his home a fucking ridiculous hardened battle station. In order to avoid drawing too much fire from something on the order or thirty or forty full-auto assault rifles, He would run to a window, take aim, shoot a guy, then run to another window or door when the bad guys started firing in the direction of his most recent shot. This 77 year-old man was running from station to station like the Assault event in American Gladiators, busting one well-aimed shot and then quickly moving out of sight, single-handedly defending his home against these motherfuckers with nothing more than an intense hatred for douchebags and drug dealers. I imagine that it was like the end of The Outlaw Josey Wales, only if Clint Eastwood were the age then that he was in Gran Torino, and if instead of Kansas Redlegs he was being mauled by a couple dozen AK-47s.
Four thugs were killed in Don Alejo's initial rampage, but they quickly regrouped and started moving towards the house, running from cover to cover to avoid his deadly accurate fire. Two over-ambitious gangsters actually succeeded in reaching the house, only to find that Don Alejo wasn't even a little bit surprised by them – the second they stepped into the doorway he greeted them Scarface-style:
Only instead of an M16 with a grenade launcher he was firing a hunting rifle in each hand, which is even more inescapably badass somehow. Don Alejo capped both men, sending them spinning to the ground, alive but unconscious. However, much like the brave-yet-doomed defenders of the Alamo, Don Alejo's last stand also had a tragic end at the receiving end of overwhelming firepower. Completely unable to bust through the force field of lead destruction spewing forth from the general vicinity of the Don of Destruction's raging adamantium nutsack, the horde of bandito douchebags perhaps-unsurprisingly opted for a significantly more cowardly tactic than an unrelenting face-to-face steel-cage death match – they ran back to their trucks, got some fucking grenade launchers (did I already mention that the police have a tough time matching the firepower of these cartel leaders?), and peppered Don Alejo's ranch with a flurry of hail the size of high-explosive hand grenades until everything within fifty yards was blown into crushed-out cinders. The entire battle lasted little more than five minutes. When a response team of Mexican Marines arrived the next morning, they found Don Alejo's body amid the rubble, still clutching a hunting rifle in each hand. They also found four dead drug dealers, two other thugs lying unconscious in pools of their own blood, and bloody patches outside indicating that there were other wounded gangsters who had left with the posse.
Don Alejo's brave-bordering-on-insane actions defending his home probably won't do much to dry down the acid bath of sulfuric suckass that seems to be encompassing much of rural Mexico these days, but it's a hell of a thing to see a guy like that take a stand against hopeless odds to fight for what he believes in. He was given a hero's burial in Monterrey at the end of November.